POS Innovation

Visa, IBM Make Every IoT Device A POS Device

Payment with a connected device requires hardware, of course, at the point of payment. And until now, most often, the point of payment required a specialized bit of hardware. Usually on a merchant countertop.

But in an initiative dubbed “The Genius of Things,” Visa and IBM IoT platform — which includes Watson — announced today (Feb. 16) that they will bring smarter POS functionality — and Visa card acceptance — to any device that’s connected to the internet.

Through the collaboration, Visa’s global payments service, spanning 3 billion users globally, will enable secure payments via the IBM/Watson platform to as many endpoints as are connected to the internet – a number analysts say will be as many as 20 billion in just three years. That means that Visa cardholders will be able to pay for things via actions initiated from endpoints as varied as rings to running shows — from air conditioning units to autos.

The firms said in a release Thursday that the payments will be made secure via Visa Token Service’s digital identifier, which does not expose account details and also enables quick provisioning of cardholder accounts to these new endpoints. The duo also said there will be cross-pollination between platforms and services, as all Watson IoT customers will be able to use Visa payment services across the IBM Cloud. Visa has said the eponymous Token Service is accessible through token service providers, as part of the Visa Ready partnership program.

In an example proffered by the pair, there will be 380 million connected cards within the next four years. This platform will alert a driver when the car’s warranty is about to expire, parts need to be replaced or inspections need to be scheduled. The driver can then, with the push of a button, schedule warranty renewals or maintenance appointments — with payment credentials an embedded, secure part of that experience.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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